Addiction also matter of personal responsibility
ADDICTION is not solely a health problem.
When illicit drugs and/or alcoholism complicate serious mental illness, characterised as a dual diagnosis, addiction is rightly considered to be a health problem.
To categorise addiction as a health problem outside of these parameters is to deny the role of personal responsibility.
Since we are all encouraged by new emphasis from advocates of human rights to exercise our autonomy, let’s not deflect the role of individual agency to direct life course within the bounds of egalitarian society, with labels of disease.
Addiction is primarily a social problem. It doesn’t develop overnight — after one ‘‘snort/ injection/ingestion’’. It takes time, depending on frequency, type and amount of illicit or prescribed substance used.
There is always time to consider the wisdom or otherwise of continuing to evade social vicissitudes that could be alleviated by conscious reflection or externally, by seeking help.
Nor is it a solely a criminal problem, although criminality can precede as well as follow addiction.
Obesity can be seen as an addiction, originating as an evasion of selfrestraint with adverse metabolic and cardiac consequences.
Another term bandied about recently, ‘‘mental distress’’, is not by definition a mental illness.
Grief, for example, is not a mental illness, nor is the acute anxiety that precedes an exam.
To categorise all mental distress as such is misleading. Doing so fosters helplessness, hopelessness and dependency. Nor is mental distress a permanent, irremediable feature in all phases of serious mental illness.
Caution is vital in popularising terms without appreciation that their misinterpretation is damaging. Claiming victimhood can become an affliction. V.H. Markham
IF some writers think that Richard Treadgold can’t be relied on as an authority on climate change, perhaps they would like to type in on Google ‘‘can the IPCC be trusted’’ and take it from there.
It is pointless getting into a debate about methane or carbon dioxide. Do the writers really think that after millions of years of both gases being released to the atmosphere, and the socalled greenhouse effect actually being as bad as claimed, that either of them would be able to breath oxygen by now?
Plus they are both putting CO2 into the atmosphere each time they exhale so they are part of the claimed problem.
We only ever seem to get one side of stories in that Nasa satellite data also shows that snow and ice has increased markedly on the east side of the Antarctic over the last few years but has that interesting fact been in the New Zealand media?
Ask that Nasa question on Google as well.
We only seem to be able to read stories that are continually negative in relation to climate change. A recent peer reviewed scientific paper shows that methane from animals and humans is having absolutely minimal affect on the climate. Not the huge impact claimed.
That is another interesting piece of information I have yet to read in the New Zealand media. G. R. Woods
BIG ups to Stephen Jaquiery for the front page illustration (ODT, 9.1.19) of the man with the wheelbarrow, stuffed animal and woeful window display.
He has produced consistently high quality snaps over many years. This one is a cracker, and a crack up in a creepy kind of way. Steve Thomas